Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If_Pioneer progress

Progress yeah! Maybe I'll get finished this week. I'm thinking of doing the shower curtain dark blue and sketching clouds in white chalk. Just have to see how I feel about it when I get back to it. I like it so far for the most part though, it seems to be coming together. I really love it when it works the way you want it too and it's not too much of a struggle to get it the way you see it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If_ Pioneer sketch

This is my sketch for the Illustration Friday prompt this week. I am running behind because of the holidays. My sister is here visiting for the first time in a year and my daughter left today to finish college. I swore I wouldn't cry but I did. I am not linking this to IF yet, I want to try to get it colored first. I had first started a wagon train on the moon but a couple of people did something along that line so I started anew. Hope you like it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I was going to do something new for "Undone" but my oven broke and I have to go find a new one. This is an older illustration, it kind of fits undone. The dishes are "undone" anyway. Thanks for stopping by and please leave comments. They make my day and feed my motivation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The newest prompt for Monday Art Day is family. Just after Christmas my younger daughter is transferring to another school about 12 hours away to get her Masters. She has been asking me to do an illustration of her, so here it is. I'm not the greatest portrait artist and it's hard to capture her in 2d, but for what it's worth, here it is. Hope you like it Maura. I love you and will miss you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Illustration Friday prompt for this week is Hatch. I had started with just the dragon hatching but someone else was faster than me so I put him in my daughter's hands. Well, she's based on my memories of what she looked like at that age anyway. She would have loved a pocket dragon when she was younger. She probably would love one still. She could hide him in her pocket and take him to class.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas card

I have been having some computer issues and found a forum http://www.daniweb.com/. The people there are great, very helpful and patient. I made a template to give to the guy who spent a serious amount of volunteer time helping me out, just to say thanks. It is a little late for this, (I'm printing and sending mine out this week) but I am offering it to anyone who would like to download and use it. Just leave a comment if you use it please so that I will know if it is worth doing again. It is 4 x 6, because I initially was planning to use it for a postcard. I am doing the penguin side glossy and the inside with the polar bear matte but I tried one on all matte and it still looks nice, just not quite as bright of course.




Yes, it's a T-Rex trying to eat Doritos, silly and not my favorite. Didn't turn out the way I imagined it. Don't you hate when that happens?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Monday Artday_Feast and Elf

I did this for Monday Artday, last weeks theme was feast and this weeks theme is elf so I combined the two. Click on the smaller image if you want to see a detailed view or the top image picture that will fit on the screen.

detail view

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Better or worse? I got rid of some images, got rid of the watermarks and drop shadows and got rid of a tab or two. Thinking of changing the font too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


So I have been working on my website trying to make some much needed changes and it's still a work in progress. Check it out and let me know what you think. I know I need to do some group images of kids with different expressions and at least one other sequential group. But at the same time I also probably have too many images. I am also trying to keep it pretty simple.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Another Christmas card idea, or I may put him on the inside of the polar bear card. This weeks theme for Illustration Friday is Entangled. I finished this last night and it happens to work for the theme so I'll use it this time instead of starting a new one for the prompt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

finished illustration

So, I finally finished the illustration from my first IF entry and I like it. I don't love it, but I did finish it. I may work on it more later or just let it go and be happy with the fact that I made myself go back and finish it. I have really been trying to do that lately. I am notorious for starting a project and not finishing it. The older I get the more I try to make myself finish what I start even if I am not completely happy with it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

if - Music

~this weeks Illustration Friday theme is Music. Thanks for looking and as always comments are appreciated!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Card

Christmas Card idea, I'm thinking of using it for a winter mailer, haven't decided yet.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

IF: Unbalanced

~this weeks Illustration Friday theme is Unbalanced, I just kept thinking of Baby's first steps and how they are so off balance. Thanks for looking and please leave comments!

Friday, November 13, 2009

fall sketch

~just a fall themed sketch I was working on last night, I hope to paint it later... for now it's time for a new If!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quick spot illustration

Just a quick practice illustration. I love frogs but for some reason never use them.
I'm liking him;I think I will do more. It was fun and only took an hour start to finish. I usually spend more time deciding what to paint and sketching than I do actually painting. I'm trying to work on that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This image is from my book, Farmer Brown Sleeps In. I have now sent it to six agents and have two rejections, both nice ones. Even though they may be form rejections (I'm not really sure if they are or not) they are polite and encouraging. So, for now anyway, my plan is that every time I get a rejection I will send it out to a new agent, until I run out of agents anyway. :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


~the theme for Illustration Friday this week is Blur, blurry background and teary eyed child with blurred vision due to crocodile tears :)
Please make comments and thank you for stopping by!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Illustration Friday's topic this week is skinny. My oldest daughter did ballet for ten years. I will always remember the day she came home and told me that Ms. Diane said she was fat, along with several other descriptive words. She was and still is very thin. I was so angry. She was in 6th grade at the time and would hardly eat for a week afterwards. I only let her keep going because she loved it so and this woman was the director not her teacher. I had computer problems so I am a little behind getting this posted. Thanks for looking and as always, comments are welcome!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


~this weeks illustration friday entry, thanks for viewing, comments welcome!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


my illustration friday illo for this week :) comments are very welcome!

Monday, October 12, 2009

if: flying

A quick, just for fun, late entry for illustration Friday; I was out of town this weekend but at least it is more complete than the last one which I am still working on intermittently. thanks for looking, I'd love comments!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

if: flying, maybe?

Yeah, just a sketch, I haven't even had time to finish my last project. The flying tiger was my son's idea. A white tiger actually, with tiger striped wings. I spend as much time deciding what to draw as I do drawing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

If: Germs

It's a work in progress... blankies and teddies are always germy. This is my first time doing Illustration Friday. I always love looking at every one's illos.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hmmm, which one?

which bear? I'm thinking the lighther one. I also realized this will work well for this weeks Illustration Friday theme, germs. I always enjoy seeing other peoples illos and I have wanted to participate for a while but, just haven't gotten to it yet. click on the image to see a larger view

Friday, October 2, 2009

finally working

Since we got back from vacation I just haven't been able to get anything done. I've been busy with Myles and busy with school work (my 14 year old home schools), and well, just busy. I have not sketched since I got back from Charleston, which was actually the week before we left for vacation. Anyway, I finally found time to start something today. I had been sketching nearly everyday since January. I hope to get back into the swing of things now.

I also really want to change my style. I like it but, it may not be different enough or unique enough to make it stand out. I also got my first rejection. :( It was kind of a nice rejection though and I was expecting it. So, I want to make some changes to my style. I am just really having a hard time doing it. Every time I start trying to do something different, I end up fighting with myself to keep from doing it the same way I always do and it all pretty much ends up looking the same way. I just don't seem to be able to find a new look that is me. I can mimic styles, but I try hard not to do that and can't seem to find a new direction that is my own. I just keep floundering. Maybe it will just be a very slow discovery...

So, this is where I am so far.

I think I am going to make the bear "knitted" but, I haven't decided what else to put in. I had planned to put him in a darkened room with a turned down bed and a glowing night light, but this is as far as I have gotten and tonight I am not sure where I want to go with it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


When you only get to go on vacation about once every ten years or so it is very special when you do go. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been on vacation in the last 30+ years. All but one of those trips has been to the beach because the ocean is my most favorite place in the world to be. I love the ocean. I love to look at the ocean. I love to listen to the ocean. And, I adore live oaks. As soon as I start seeing them, I begin to feel better. Even if I wasn't feeling bad, I still begin to feel better. The ocean is this healing and amazing oasis to me. It is the one place that I truly love to be. I have always said that if I had a million dollars I would spend it on ocean front property. Of course now. it would cost several million dollars. But, I still feel the same way. There is just something about the sea that is so appealing. It is truly, my happy place.
The condo we are staying in is at Blue Mountain Beach and it is very beautiful. It rained all day our first whole day here. I'm talking torrential downpour! We still had a good day though. We weathered the storm and bought fresh seafood to cook for dinner last night. This morning we awoke to more rain and I wanted to cry. But. it soon cleared up to a gorgeous day. I am now sitting on the patio with my laptop, sipping a martini and enjoying the breeze off of the ocean. Life is good.

sunset, soooooo beautiful

natural pond with turtles, behind condo

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Myles at the piano

Myles loves the piano. He is actually very gentle while he is "playing", most of the time anyway. He is a handful but, so much fun too.

I started teaching myself digital painting in January. I keep my grandson during the week. He is blind and a toddler so there is not much time to paint anymore. It is so hard to start and stop painting that I just don't start. I've had an unfinished canvas sitting in my den for..., well since just after he was born. So, I started playing with painter x in January and fell in love with it almost immediately. Actually that's not quite true. I started with a essentials because it came with the wacom pad I got for Christmas. I hadn't had a new wacom in many years and my previous one had died a couple of years ago so my wonderful husband got me a new intuos. After the first digital painting, which I did of my grandson, I was in love. Then my daughter said I should try painter x and I did a trial with it. Love it! No more dirty brushes. No more spilled paint. No more worrying about stopping and starting or being interupted. And you can fix your mistakes! It's fabulous! I still love photshop and illustrator but, I had never done actual illustrations with them, only touch ups on scanned pieces. At the top is my first digital painting. It's of my grandson before he really had any hair.

These are my latest attempts at learning painter 11. This time I tried working in digital watercolor. It isn't exactly what I wanted but I am pretty happy with it. I'm sure I will get better at it with practice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yeast Rolls!

I love to make bread. When we lived in Germany for several years and had to shop an hour away at the commissary, I made bread at least every other day. (I never got up early enough to walk to the bakery) I don't bake like that anymore. My girls are grown and have moved out and my 14 yr old son is extremely picky. But, he loves O'Charley's rolls; So, I attempted to make them this weekend. After some Internet research we modified a recipe we thought would come close. It did come close but, will need a little playing with to get it closer to what he would like it to be. My husband and I liked them better than O'Charley's rolls. They were easy to make. You just have to think ahead because the rising time is about double what it normally would be for rolls. They saved really well and were as good today as they were this weekend. I think next time I will try adding a little malt, honey and a tad more yeast. Maybe that will produce a roll more like the O'Charley's version. The one I made was nice and lite, but the air bubbles were not as large and they were not quite as delicate or sweet. It is an easy recipe and requires no kneading.

Yeast Rolls #1

1) Mix: 1/2 cup cold pressed/refined coconut oil

1/2 cup melted European style butter

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 tsps salt

2/3 cup sugar

-mix well then let cool to room temperature

2) Mix: 1/2 cup warm water

1 pkg yeast (do not use rapid rise)

2 tsps sugar

-mix and allow yeast to "bloom" for 5-10 min.

3) Mix: mixtures 1 and 2 together

add 2 slightly beaten eggs

pour into 6 cups bread flour (I use unbleached white)

mix in mixer until well blended

pull from the sides of the bowl

sprinkle counter with light dusting of flour

dump dough into flour and fold in from the outside 4 times

flip it over and tuck in the underside forming a large ball of dough(it should be smooth, this will help it to rise properly)

oil a stainless steal bowl with about a tablespoon of oil( I usually use olive or rice bran for this)and put dough in the bowl, rolling the ball until the smooth side is facing up and is coated in oil

cover with a cloth or towel and set on top of the oven or in a draft free area for 2 hours, it will more than double in bulk

press the dough down to release the large air bubbles

make golf ball size balls by pinching off pieces of dough, shape with fingers and tuck around and pinch on the underside just as you did with the large dough ball, again it will form a skin on the dough allowing it to rise properly
Mix: 1/2 stick butter melted but not too hot with one egg yolk, beating while you are adding the yolk, then slowly beat in 1-2 tbsp water, drizzle into the mixture while stirring with a whisk

dip each ball of dough into the mixture and place on a baking pan

(appearance after 2nd rising)
cover and allow the rolls to rise for 2 more hours

bake @ 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes on a rack one level above center of oven

(they should be golden brown)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

see my website

So, I am new at this. Since I don't have anything posted yet if you'd like to see some of my work please see my website @ karenwhitakerillustrations.com